Booker-shortlisted author returns to Malta

Award winning author Simon Mawer will read on campus this Saturday.

British born novelist and non-fiction writer Simon Mawer, whose latest novel, The Glass Room, was shortlisted for the prestigious Man Booker Prize last year, will be returning to Malta after spending some of his childhood and post-university years on the island to deliver a reading and discussion of his acclaimed works at the Atriju Vassalli, University of Malta at 20:30.

Mawer's father was for a time stationed on the island during his time with the RAF in the Second World War, his own childhood was partly spent in Malta and his wife, Connie Bonello, is Maltese. In addition, his novel The Bitter Cross (1992) is set in sixteenth-century Malta, at the time of the Knights of St John.

On his website, Mawer - who currently lives in Italy -  gives some insight into how he experienced the island, as a result of the globe-trotting military lifestyle his family had to undertake.

"My father, like his father before him, served in the Royal Air Force. We lived the nomadic life of a typical military family, spending, amongst various moves in England, three years in Cyprus during the EOKA period and a total of five years in Malta. These experiences planted in me a love of the Mediterranean world which has lasted my whole life. They also gave me a taste for exile which I have never lost. When people ask me where I come from I am still unable to reply. I have lived in Italy for more than three decades, but Italy is not home. Home is where the mind is, perhaps."

Mawer has won various awards for his work, including the McKitterick Prize for his debut novel Chimera (1989) and the Boardman Tasker Prize for The Fall (2003). His work has been critically acclaimed and has also achieved popular success. His non-fiction draws from his experiences of living in Italy and from his knowledge of zoology and genetics, which he studied at Brasenose College in Oxford.

Tickets for the evening, which is being organised in collaboration with the British Council and the Department of English, will be available at €8 at the door, or through the Communications and Alumni Relations Office on campus (Room 133, Administration Building), or by email at [email protected].